Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/4/13
Mlb-mariners-orioles-may
Everyone in the dugout felt the momentum swinging against them with each new pitch thrown. So when Michael Saunders did what the Mariners do best it sent palpable waves of relief through the ranks of a squad about to snap a four-game losing streak. Few were more relieved by a two-run Saunders home run in the ninth inning of this 8-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles than the Seattle relief pitcher freshly recruited to close the bottom of the ninth. Danny Farquhar had secured the final out of an eighth-inning jam then locked up his first career save with a perfect ninth inning and some huge mental help from Saunders’ second homer of the night. “They had their big boys coming up but thank God that Saunders hit that two-run homer in the ninth’’ Farquhar said. “That definitely made the ninth significantly easier.’’ Farquhar struck out his first two batters then got a fly out and the clubhouse beer shower he’d longed for since his arrival from Class AAA. “It’s a big deal to me’’ he said. “I was real excited about the beer shower. I’ve done a ton of them (for other players) in the three months since I’ve been here and I just wanted to get a stupid beer shower. And I got it so it was a lot of fun.’’ The bullpen really shouldn’t be the story on a night Saunders hits two homers and drives in five runs. Nor when Justin Smoak also hits a homer and reaches base five times. The Mariners are known for scoring via the long ball and got seven of their eight runs with them in this one. For the season they’ve scored a major-league-leading 48.1 percent of their 451 runs as a result of going deep. And yet they’re still eight games under .500 largely because of a bullpen that has blown leads in agonizing fashion and is tied for the league lead with eight walkoff losses. The Mariners have also lost 17 games in the opponent’s final at-bat — third worst in the majors — and the 35231 fans at Camden Yards sensed that No. 18 might be brewing when Farquhar replaced Charlie Furbush with two on and two out in the eighth and Adam Jones up.
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